Saturday, May 9, 2009

weighing in on the Newbery winner

Now that everyone on the waiting list has read Neil Gaiman's The graveyard book, it is my turn. I was pleased that Gaiman won the Newbery Medal but a scary/eerie story is not my sort, at all. But I like Gaiman (I absolutely love Neverwhere which is partially set in the tubes of London) so I decided to check it out.
I started the book and am enjoying it but I am not consumed with the desire to read (the sign of a really good book)--if the book had to be returned tomorrow, I could leave it unfinished and be perfectly happy.
The book starts with a murder (or two or three) which leaves a toddler homeless and parentless. A long-dead couple, buried in the local cemetery but now in ghostly form, agree to raise the child. They name him Nobody, which is shortened to Bod. Bod grows, thanks to the help of a semihuman being who can leave the cemetery to get food for him, and makes friends, goes on adventures, is educated by various spectral figures buried in the cemetery. There is a lot of adventure, a bit of humor, interesting characters of the otherworldly sort--all positive things but the book just isn't grabbing me. (I hope to have a block of time this weekend to stretch out on the daybed and read, read, read so that may change...I hope.)
I haven't been thrilled by the last several Newbery winners so I am disappointed that a book by an author I like is inspiring the same blah feeling in me. It is so hard to sell a book to a reader when you feel wishy-washy about it yourself. Oh, well, maybe next year.

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